Civil Liberties  
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How Privacy in America Went Virtually Extinct in Just a Decade

Unless we challenge the idea that we should concede our rights to protect our safety, it'll get even worse.

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DAS integrates NYPD- and private-operated CCTV camera feeds, license plate data and radiation readings as well as police and intelligence reports. Cameras operate 24/7 and are principally deployed in the Financial District, midtown Manhattan and at strategic transportation points like bridges and tunnels.  

According to the police only public areas are monitored and facial recognition technology is not used. Video clips are maintained for 30 days and are ostensibly then deleted … unless the NYPD chooses to preserve them. License plate data is kept for five years and unspecified “environmental data” is preserved indefinitely. 

Neal Ungerleider, writing at  Fast Company, was surprised while visiting the DAS command-and-control center in lower Manhattan. He found that there were designated places for the representatives from the Federal Reserve, the Bank of New York, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer and CitiGroup. He did not identify places for the ACLU.

David Rosen is regular contributor to AlterNet, Brooklyn Rail, Filmmaker and IndieWire. His website is He can be reached at


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